How to Include an Animated GIF in Outlook Email

by Alan Sembera ; Updated December 19, 2017

Animated GIFs are great for engaging your email newsletter recipients and getting them interested in what you have to say. They can be funny, entertaining or interesting, and break up your messages to ensure they are highly readable. When coupled with compelling text, they can make your messages even more effective.

If you're working with Microsoft Outlook 2016, it can be a little tricky understanding exactly how to incorporate animated GIFs into your emails.

While Microsoft Outlook 2016 isn't capable of displaying animated GIF files, thankfully, you can still include the images in your outgoing messages. When you insert the image into your email you'll see just the first frame of the file. However, any recipient using Web-based email or an HTML-enabled email program on a desktop or laptop computer, mobile phone or other on-the-go device will be able to view the full animation.

If you follow these five easy steps, you will be able to start using animated GIFs in your emails today.

First, launch Microsoft Outlook 2016 and select "New Email."

Then, complete the "To" and the "Subject" fields, and compose your message.

Click where you want the animated GIF to show up in the body of your email. Move your cursor to the "Insert" tab at the top and then click "Pictures."

If you do not yet have a GIF, find one online. Right click the image and save it as a .gif on your computer. Then, choose the animated GIF file you want to include in your email under "From File."

If you do not want to save the GIF on your computer, click "Online Pictures" and follow the steps to insert it from the internet. Once the image is inserted, you will be able to see just the first frame of the animation.

If you want to make the animated GIF larger or smaller, click and drag the handles on the edge of it. Click the box next to the image if you want to select text-wrapping options, and then you can type your text around the image.

Tips

  • If you receive an email with an animated GIF in Outlook 2013, you can see the animation by viewing the message in your browser. Double-click the message to open it in a new window, click "Actions" on the ribbon, and then select "View in Browser."
  • Information in this article applies to Microsoft Outlook 2013. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

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About the Author

Alan Sembera began writing for local newspapers in Texas and Louisiana. His professional career includes stints as a computer tech, information editor and income tax preparer. Sembera now writes full time about business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Texas A&M University.

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